In The Scout Association v Barnes (2010) the Court of Appeal upheld a claim for damages made by a 13 year old scout injured while playing a game during an indoor scouts meeting. The game was a modification of an approved musical chairs type game, the main modification being that the game was played with the lights off. The hall was not in total darkness as there was some illumination from emergency exit signs and the game was closely supervised throughout by three experienced adults, who had assessed the risks. Unfortunately the child sustained injury when he collided with a bench that had been placed in the corner of the hall.

A majority of the Court of Appeal found in favour of the claimant on the basis that the modification of the game ie, playing it in the dark, was simply to increase the overall excitement level for the participants and did not have a social or educative value which might have justified the additional foreseeable risks.

This case has implications for all providers of recreational activities as it suggests that the acceptability of any risks will be measured against the activity's social or educative utility, although how narrowly the utility value will be measured is not clear.

You can read further details on the case here.